Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Washington Social Diary

The Katzen Arts Center on preview night.
by Carol Joynt

Since we’re always looking for signs of a reviving economy, hooray for the annual Washington Winter Show. Hannah Cox, the show’s guiding force, pulled it off once again. The booths of fine antiques took over three floors of the Katzen Center for the Arts this weekend with a healthy turnout. The preview party Thursday evening sold 601 tickets, most of them costing $275. The level of support exceeded last year, which is why its encouraging.

The party is always one of the capital’s best, bringing together mixed generations of society, and kicks off the winter season, which has become almost as hectic as the fall, but not quite as hectic as the spring. For many it was a pit stop back home between the holidays and however they’ll spend the next three months of cold weather (though, honestly, lately it’s been more like spring). The mood was enthusiastically upbeat.
The entrance.
Treasures of the First Families exhibition with the "Kennedy plate" in the foreground.
The Lenox "Kennedy Plate" up close.
Ellen Charles contemplates majolica at the booth of Earle D. Vandekar of White Plains, NY.
Also at the Vandekar booth, this handsome 18th century horse for $28,000.
Checking out a fine assortment of canes and walking sticks.
I don’t know whether exhibitors felt the same happy energy, because not too many people buy at the preview party. They tend to eat, drink and be merry among old friends and the antiques, giving an occasional closer look at a piece of silver, porcelain or mahogany; brown wood still reigns at the antiques show! The serious buyers return the next day. Helen Burnett Sessions, the show’s spokesperson, on Sunday said sales were “very strong.”

This year’s theme was “Treasures of the First Families,” and featured an interesting exhibition of items that belonged to past presidents when they lived in the White House. The standout was a yellow-bordered Lenox plate, the prototype for the Kennedy White House dinner service. Both JFK and Jackie Kennedy took turns eating off the one plate while they made their decision. But he was assassinated and the dinner service was never made. The White House chef gave the now historic plate to a White House maid, which is how it ended up in the hands of collector Set Momjian.
Looking down upon the main entrance and bar #1.
The team from Susan Gage Caterers march out with the food.
More than shopping, the patrons of the preview party wanted to make merry with each other.
Caroline Kennedy was the honorary chair, but she did not attend the show.

Caterer Susan Gage reliably laid out a delicious seasonal buffet, which included Chicken Pot Pie, Roasted Salmon, Salad of Hearts of Palm, Tomato and Avocado; Butternut Squash Ravioli, Onion Tart and an array of desserts. The three or more bars poured premium brands - and poured, and poured, and poured - while a jazz combo added an elegant soundtrack.
Representatives of the charities benefited from the antiques show: Simon Jackson of Fight for Children, Anne Baldwin of St. John, James Woody of Bishop Walker, and Edmund Fleet of THEARC.
The Winter Show's various chairs: Amy Zantzinger, the Show; Melanie New, Megan Rupp and Heather Florance, the Preview Night. JoAnn Zuercher and Glenn R. Reichardt.
Lucky Roosevelt and Jacqueline Mars.
Carolyn Minor and Ann Thompson. CJ, Ellen Charles, and Kate Markert.
Helen Burnett Sessions and Amy Zantzinger.
Mike Harreld, Mary Choksi, Susan Harreld, and Armeane Choksi.
Lucky Roosevelt and Leslie Jones. Michaela English and Amy Zantzinger.
Fred Ryan, Genevieve Ryan, Leslie Jones, Amy Zantzinger, and Richard Zantzinger.
Jonathan Willen and Amy Zantzinger.
Janet Laird and Edmund Fleet.
Before you peruse the guest list, please also read this little item I wrote for Washingtonian about a luncheon lecture given by former White House pastry chef Roland Mesnier. He enchanted 380 women with clever tales of his 26 years serving First Families, but this one about President Clinton and the missing strawberry cake was a corker, and it got picked up by news sites round the planet. Oh that Bill Clinton!

Amy Zantzinger, former Bush White House social secretary was the official chair. Also there was current White House social secretary Jeremy Bernard. The guest list included: Lucky Roosevelt, Anita McBride, Albert Small, Jacqueline Mars, Ellen Charles, David and Susan Jones, Mike and Susan Harreld, Denise Prince, Blair Bourne, Elizabeth Powell, Kate Markert, David Deckelbaum, John Irelan, Brady Arundel, Wiley Buchanan, Betsy Brewster, Bill Allman, Julio Heurtematte Jr., Steven and Katie Gewirz, Richard Zantziger, Curt Winsor, John Rosenthal, Amy Gross, Alan and Debbie Dunn, Jean Perin, Sarah Wallerstein, Kristen Steinberg, Susan Williamson Ross, Joe Stewart, Malcolm Matheson, Robert Montague IV, C.F. Muckenfuss III, Camilla McCaslin, B. Francis Saul, Helen Curtin, Ruff and Susan Fant, Martha S. Ferguson, Nancy Folger, Lindsey and Ethan Drath, Adam Ozmer, Palmer Graham, Stancliff C. Elmore, Charles Jacob Farver, Frank B. Randolph, Charles Tuck, Jane Battle, Foree Biddle, Shannon and Joe Burkhart, Jane and Tim Matz.
Guests enjoying drinks and dinner at the Washington Winter Show.
Photographs by Carol Joynt and Alyssa Zuercher Reichardt.
Carol Joynt's memoir, Innocent Spouse, can be ordered from Amazon, HERE.